On the 10th anniversary of Citizens United’s landmark Supreme Court victory for free speech, its incredible impact and legacy has come into focus. At its core, the Citizens United decision encourages more participation in America’s political process.
Much to the dismay of the left, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a case about free speech and whether the First Amendment protected the American people from government attempts to limit speech. Nothing more, nothing less.
The origins of the case begin with Citizens United’s ability to produce a film and run advertisements for a film critical of Hillary Clinton. At that time, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance regime would have jailed me for doing just that — a fact that the left purposefully omits from their flawed arguments against the Supreme Court’s opinion.
In 2004, I recognized that liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore had produced a documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a film highly critical of then- President George W. Bush. While the film had a huge impact on the campaign, it was Moore’s television trailers supporting the film — produced with corporate Hollywood money — that truly affected the Bush reelection effort.
I simply asked the Federal Election Commission if I could do what Michael Moore was doing. The FEC told me “no.” If I moved forward anyway, I could face five years in jail for each count, as well as tens of thousands in fines. To this day, I still can’t believe that our federal government was going to jail me for making a movie and running advertisements for a film.
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